GKN Driveline is expanding its presence in China with the construction of a new plant in Pinghu, Zhejiang Province, through its Chinese joint venture Shanghai GKN HUAYU Driveline Systems (SDS).
The 10,000 m2 Pinghu plant will initially manufacture gears for eDrive systems and will help meet increasing levels of electric and hybrid vehicle production in China. GKN has won a number of key electric driveline programs that will be delivered by SDS. It will also produce gear sets for all-wheel drive final drive systems.
It is expected to commence operation during the second quarter of 2018. The first eDrive unit produced by SDS—the Multimode eTransmission for a domestic Chinese automaker—is due to roll off production lines later this year and there will be a significant ramp up of production in the coming years.
China will become a major global production hub for GKN’s electric drivelines and GKN forecasts its JV partner could be manufacturing 1 million eDrive units per year by 2025.
The introduction of eDrive technology builds on GKN and SDS’s history of successfully implementing new driveline technologies into China. The company became the first Tier One automotive supplier to establish a Joint Venture in China in 1988, bringing the latest technologies in driveshafts into the market and subsequently building a market leading position in CVJ with SDS.
In 2013, GKN expanded its relationship with SDS to introduce the production of torque management technologies and all-wheel drive systems into China. GKN became the first Tier One supplier to design, develop and manufacture a complete all-wheel drive system in China in 2015 on the MG GS, and to date has produced all-wheel drive systems across nine separate programs for a range of domestic and international automakers.